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Prayer, diversity, lights on SGA's agenda

By Kelly Mayo
Managing Editor

November 29, 2012

The Student Government Association swore in a new at-large senator, passed a resolution concerning an upcoming Financial Aid Forum and discussed the issue of prayer at formal events at its Nov. 7 meeting.

New senator and resolution

SGA approved, with two abstentions, the admission of Michael Williams as an at-large senator. Williams is a member of Omega Psi Phi, a three-time All-American wrestler and captain of the UNCP wrestling team.

Treasurer Carson Cone and freshman senator Antonio Reid co-sponsored Resolution 3, which proposed that SGA advertise and sponsor a Financial Aid Forum in Cypress Hall on Nov. 27. The resolution specified that advertising would be restricted to social media. SGA approved Resolution 3 unanimously.

Question of prayer

SGA also discussed student-generated alternatives to a prayer at formal ceremonies like commencement and Convocation.

SGA Adviser Preston Ramsey said that the most popular student opinions were keeping the prayer as it is or replacing it with a moment of silence.

He also said that all ideas were going to the Chancellor's Cabinet, which would have the final say on the matter.

At-large senator and Office of Minority and Multicultural Affairs representative Lauren Bell suggested offering several different prayers representing different faiths. Some members disapproved of this idea.

"There are too many things that may need to be covered if we decide to represent every faith," Secretary Emily Ashley said.

Sen. Brown, who favored a moment of silence, said that there "may be fringe groups that shouldn't be represented" with multiple prayers.

President Robert Nunnery said that SGA does not endorse any prayer alternatives and that it is "just looking for feedback" from students.

Diversity requirement

Academic and Student Affairs Committee Chair Owen Thomas said that OMMA has suggested that the University add a diversity class requirement for incoming freshmen, possibly beginning in the fall of 2014.

No specifications were made about which professors in which departments would teach the classes, but preliminary ideas included that the classes be Writing in the Discipline (WD) and cross-disciplinary.

This would mean that no new classes would be added to the General Education curriculum.

Senator Alex Fux disapproved of the idea of a new class requirement, calling it "just another hurdle" to graduation.

Night Walk

After the meeting, Sen. Thomas and three other senators took two golf carts around campus for its monthly Night Walk.

The purpose of the Night Walk is to assure student safety on campus by checking the lighting around campus and making note of dysfunctional or broken lights.

About 30 lights were broken or dysfunctional during the Nov. 7 Night Walk. They included:

  • A streetlight near Grace P. Johnson Stadium
  • A streetlight near the parking lot behind Oak Hall
  • Three lights near the water feature
  • Four lights near the Jones Athletic Center
  • One light near Starbucks
  • Two lights behind the UC Annex
  • One blue emergency phone light near GPAC
The Night Walk started at the UC Annex and circled the whole campus, including University Courtyard Apartments, before ending behind Cypress Hall.

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Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012
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